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Frome Beacon Book Club recommendations : January 2020

By Pete Lawrence, 27 January 2020 14:19
"The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" details in three parts the damage being done to our biosphere, the reasons why our culture would inevitably do such damage, and how we can fix the problem.
From a universal basic income to a 15-hour workweek, from a world without borders to a world without poverty – it’s time to return to utopian thinking. Rutger Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come.
Culture shapes value. Values shape history. And why metaphors matter. ​ ​How will our values shape the future?
Nicholas Albery was a man who peddled hope. He founded and ran an organisation called THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL INVENTIONS but unfortunately died in a car accident in 2001. Every year he published one or two or even three books in which he collected together any good social ideas he’d picked up…and the books were bursting with them.
The story of how Frankl survived the Holocaust by finding personal meaning in the experience, which gave him the will to live through it
Brand suggests that the “wanting” wants to find meaning, love and connection, and that a “chain of mentorship” can help towards a solution. He introduces us to eight of his own mentors, reviewing his relationships with them and reflecting on how they have helped him in different areas of his life.
an urgent and powerfully-argued exploration of race and racism in contemporary Britain, and of the experience of being a person of colour in today's society.
Julian Caldecott examines the vital role this fascinating substance plays on our planet and explores the historical, scientific, political and economic reasons behind the looming water crisis. He reveals where the water we use comes from, and at what social and environmental cost.
Do you hunger for skills to improve the quality of your relationships, to deepen your sense of personal empowerment or to simply communicate more effectively? Unfortunately, for centuries our culture has taught us to think and speak in ways that can actually perpetuate conflict, internal pain and even violence. Nonviolent Communication partners practical skills with a powerful consciousness and vocabulary to help you get what you want peacefully.
"Brilliantly executed and compulsively listenable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts"
Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
Natalie Fee's upbeat and engaging book is a life-altering guide to making those changes that will contribute to helping our planet. Covering all key areas of our lives, from food and leisure to travel and sex, Natalie will galvanize you to think and live differently.
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Becca Hall

I’m really sorry to have missed this too. But saved you all viraemia. Wow- I’m going to have to take annual leave to embed my mind in all of these. Do you have an idea for the format of each month?
I tend to buy my books in charity shops these days and wonder whether the process of reading was discussed- eg rotating the books and sharing them with each other.
Also, Is there a plan to have a theme for each month? B x


Pete Lawrence

The format seemed to work well - First half : Round the room and everyone has a chance to talk about a book that is inspiring them. Ten minute break
Then guest of the month talking about their own book, the inspiration for it, how they wrote it, how it got published, any pros and cons, followed by open Q&A.
We were pressed for time in that format so didn't get into talking about rotating / sharing books or similar subjects...



I like the idea of sharing books as well Becca....and we can discuss that next time. I'd planned to ask 2 folks to borrow their copy soon, as my reading pile is already too high!
Hope we get to catch up again soon....we need a rematch for the Beethoven and the Mendelssohn !!!



I felt so fortunate having Natalie open our first Frome Beacon bookclub. Her natural warmth and liveliness helped everyone relax and engage with each other in a lovely, informal way.
The books people shared were quite literally fascinating, and have made me want to extend my already long reading list!
I loved the way Natalie shared her journey to becoming an environmental writer and campaigner, from collecting sacks of plastic cotton buds off beaches, to speaking to a conference of travel agents about making their business more environmentally sustainable - whilst writing books at the same time! Her clarity and focus really showed me that anybody can make a difference once they decide to - and can remain lighthearted at the same time.

However my favourite moments were when Natalie shared her Hedgehog poem with us, written because they couldn’t get to the XR Rebellion, and she wanted them to have a voice, and then sang us her sustainable-relationship version of Making Whoopee, which made me laugh out loud. I also fell in love with her beautiful new ukulele, which was styled a bit a like a National guitar.

It was a winning combo for me - humour, information, music and love for our beautiful planet.


Steve Hoare

Unsheltered is a wonderful book. Totally second that. Everyone should read it!

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